Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thousand Word Thursday


This picture is from 2004. Chris and I hosted a Root Beer tasting. It was lots' of fun. I think we bought WAY too many Root Beers to try, but it was so much fun. It was really amazing to taste how different each Root Beer actually tasted. By the end I think we all had drank way more than we had wanted.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Baker: Strudel

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

So the challenge was strudel. I thought it was lots of fun. I have never made strudel before and it seemed like a nice chance to get my hands into some dough.

I started out making the strudel for a dinner party we were attending, but things got a bit waylaid. I made the dough but things didn’t work out to make the filling, and after the dough had been in the fridge for a week it was VERY elastic. So I tossed it. There was just absolutely no way I could have gotten it to actually stretch. It just snapped back.

The next batch of dough I made was perfect. It stretched so easily. I got some tiny tears, but mainly because I got impatient because my back began to hurt, not form the actual making of the dough, but because I injured it last week.

The first one I filled with a great nut mixture.
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and almonds)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
The actual pictures of the mixture by itself looked completely unappealing (actually quite disgusting, I thought it looked pretty gross as I was making it.)
Here it is after baking.

The picture of the finished product looks like meat!

The second one I filled with a citrus and cheese mixture.

  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb. dry cottage cheese
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp. sour cream
  • juice of a lime
  • Zest of a couple lemons and limes
I didn’t get the cottage cheese dry enough so it was a bit wet and so it ended-up busting through the dough. But it still tasted great.

I thought it would be fun to garnish with some candied citrus. So I learned how to do that as well.
  • 2-3 limes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • A little more sugar for coating
1. Slice limes into thin rounds, blanch in a pot of boiling water for 2 min & drain.
2. In the same pot, combine water & 1 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer & add lime slices. Simmer for 10-15 min, till white pith of limes looks translucent (May take longer if pith is especially thick or dense).
3. Drain & spread out on a cooling rack to dry for at least 1 hour.
4. Put 2 tbsp sugar in shallow bowl or saucer. When limes are dry, coat both sides of the lime slices by pressing them into the sugar (May need more sugar for good coverage).
5. Store in an airtight container & layer between parchment paper or plastic wrap till ready to use. You can freeze & then just take out what you need to use.





Here is the recipe as I received it.

(Please also read the tips and notes on the trial runs Courtney and Linda did. You'll find them below the recipes.)

Preparation time
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes
15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough
10 min to fill and roll dough
30 min to bake
30 min to cool

Apple strudel
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
  • strudel dough (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)
1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.
3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.
4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.
5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Strudel dough
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

  • 1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1. Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.
Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.
2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).
3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can.
Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.
4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

Tips
- Ingredients are cheap so we would recommend making a double batch of the dough, that way you can practice the pulling and stretching of the dough with the first batch and if it doesn't come out like it should you can use the second batch to give it another try;
- The tablecloth can be cotton or polyester;
- Before pulling and stretching the dough, remove your jewelry from hands and wrists, and wear short-sleeves;
- To make it easier to pull the dough, you can use your hip to secure the dough against the edge of the table;
- Few small holes in the dough is not a problem as the dough will be rolled, making (most of) the holes invisible.
Both Courtney and I did a trial run on making the strudel. Below are our notes:

Courtney's notes
- She couldn't get it to stretch to 2 feet by 3 feet, it turned out more like 2 feet by 2 feet. But the dough was tissue thin nevertheless;
- She got some serious holes, but after rolling it wasn't noticeable;
- She used a large cheese cloth which helped manipulate and stretch the dough more than a heavier cloth would have.

Linda’s notes
- I made the dough by hand, just mixed the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Kneaded it for about 5 min like you would bread dough. This worked as well. Haven't tried using a stand mixer so I don't know how it compares.
- Instead of cider vinegar I used red wine vinegar;
- I used bread flour;
- Picking up the dough to let it stretch didn't work well for me, holes appeared pretty much instantly. Instead I stretched the dough while it was lying on the tablecloth by putting my hands underneath and stretching it out further and further;
Here's a link to a strudel making video that might help you a bit.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

So Sick!

Why are we so sick. I just hope the second half of 2009 is healthier than the 1st half. I know the first half isn't over yet, but seriously, we need a game changer!

Just about everyone has had an ear infection. (we finally got tubes in Bubba's ears, he is starting to talk more now.) Everyone had the flu at least once, most of us twice. They thought Bubba had dysentery, I thought it was giardia, but it turns out it was nothing. We finally got the test results, it was all negative. (BTW I HATED getting that sample. Nothing like poring a sample out of a diaper into a cup) Let me remind you of a previous post on the matter. It cleared-up. Either the antibiotics or it just times out on its own.

Now Banana has had a fever for over a week. She acts basically normal. A little fussy, but not bad. But since it had been 7 days we took her in to see the Doc. Her blood counts were crazy out of whack. We put her on antibiotic too. It seems to be a bit better.

Of course all three kids ended-up with eye infections. I don't think it was Pink eye, but it was something. SweetPea looked the word. It looked like she had gone a couple rounds in a boxing ring. The circles under her eyes were SOOOO dark. Her lids were so swollen when she got up in the morning, she could hardly open them. All the kids HATE the drops. It takes 2 of us to pin them down and pry their eyes open. Luckily it is clearing quickly.

But of course the next day (you know, the one where we went and saw the doc) SweetPea began to complain of ear pain. She was whining and writhing on the bed as she tried to sleep. So she went back. Strep! Yuck.

As for me... well, cleaning all the bodily fluids up off the floor and cradling little ones I guess took its toll, because I hurt my back big time. I spent about 5 days in bed, unable to walk. Well, I could walk, but only if I walked bent over like a fallin' "L." So off to the doctor I went. Some prescription pain meds and muscle relaxants and more time in bed finally made it possible for me to raise form the dead. Only to wish i could climb back in. The house was awful. Holy Cow.

Ain't no Sunshine when it rains. And it seems to be rainin hard right now. I mean that both literally and figuratively.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fashion Icon!

The other day Bubba was running around in his diaper. He came up to me with some socks and shoes and asked me to put them on him. I was amused by the thought of him not only running around in his diaper, socks and shoes, but that the shoes were sandals. To top it off later I found him with a cheek peeking through. I tried desperately to snap a picture, but he would have none of it. I guess this fashion icon has grown tired and annoyed by the paparazzi.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Crayon Roll

I first heard of these on a friends blog. She was making them for gifts, and I thought it was a good idea. So I did a little digging and found some directions. The kids like them. They can sort colors and arrange the colors in all sorts of patterns. I highly recommend you keep them and all crayons away form heat sources, like the stove. We had a serious accident with an orange crayon and the kitchen counter this evening. OOPS!

I have seen the directions for Crayon Rolls in 2 places. (Skip to My Lou STML and Chocolate on the Cranium COMC) They are slightly different, but basically the same. I have only tried the STML directions, so I can't much comment on the directions from COMC.

If you want a really simple version check this one out. No turning and far less stitching!

1 - 5 X 16 1/2 inch piece of fabric for the outside
1 - 5 X 16 1/2 inch piece of fabric the the inside
1 - 6 X 16 1/2 inch piece of fabric folded lengthwise and pressed for the pocket
ric rac (if desired)
1 - 5 X 16 1/2 piece of vinyl (to keep the crayopns from marking-up the fabric, if you don't use the vinyl, I recomend ironing some interfacing to the wrong side of the lining)
20-24" piece of ribbon or cord for fastening
16 crayons



I bought the box of 16 crayons which are a bit thicker than the standard crayons. I have heard they are harder to find. I found mine at Wal-Mart. The one problem I found is they were really snug to get in and out of the roll, and they are a bit bulky for rolling. When i look at the pictures on both the blog listed above, they either admit they are the smaller crayons, or they just REALLY look like they are. The COMC directions slots are a bit smaller, so I don't even think the bigger crayons will fit. STML says to use the 16 crayon box, but the pictures look like the thin crayons. Maybe in my area the 16 box is only the thick ones. Who knows. Anyway.

Layer the vinyl on top of the right side of the inside lining, then the pocket piece on top of the vinyl. Measure in 1 1/4 in from the side and stitch from top of pocket to bottom, you will want to back stitch at the top. Then stitch every 1 inch. You should have 1 1/4 inches left on the other end. (I purposefully picked a fabric for the pockets that had 4" wide squares, that way some of the measuring was done for me!)
If using ric rac (I used piping on one that turned out pretty nice, you can see it in the top picture) pin it around the edges, overlap at bottom.
Place outside piece on top of pocket and lining, right sides together. Place the tie (folded in half) in the middle on the right side. Ends of tie go towards the center.


Sew all the way around 1/4 inch from the edge. Leave a 2-3 inch opening somewhere so you can turn it right side out. In the picture below I have the opening at the bottom.


Clip corners and turn.
Press (don’t press vinyl with bare hot iron), making sure to press opening to the inside. Pin opening shut and then top stitch all the way around very close to the edge (making sure you sew all layers of the opening shut.) With the ric rac you may have to rip and re-sew a few areas. As you can see, it isn't perfect in the picture.
All done!



SEW (hahaha) what I would recommend is this... if you are going to use the thicker crayons, I would increase the fabric size slightly and make the slots slightly wider. You can see the thicker crayons pull the fabric forward so the outside fabric doesn't lay flat. Also the crayons seem to stick up farther than the pictures on STML. She also said her crayons have a tendency to slip out with the vinyl, so she uses elastic cord and a cod stop instead of a tie (also great for those little ones that can't tie a bow or knot yet) There is NO WAY the thick crayons could slip out. So she HAS to be using the thinner crayons. I was thinking of trying to add a 1/4" to all the slots to accommodate the thicker crayons. It might need a little "head room" at the top for the crayon. Sheesh, this seems to be getting more complicated. Let me just state that it works PERFECTLY fine the way it is. These are just little thinks I want to try and tweak and fix. I do this to patterns all the time. If you try any of this, let me know if it helps/works. If you are going to use the thinner crayons, you might want to try the COMC directions because the slots are only 3/4" wide.

Please let me know how yours turn out and if you made any adjustments.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Unbelievable

I saw these amazing cookies and thought some of you might like to take a look!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Daring Cook: Ricotta Gnocchi

This is the first EVER Daring Cook challenge. I was so glad I was able to join as they started this up.

The challenge this time was to make Ricotta Gnocchi. I have never made gnocchi so I thought it would be fun. In the directions we were told the fresher the ricotta the better, and then they gave us some links that gave directions on how to make ricotta at home. So I began the process. It seemed easy enough. Heat some milk, add lemon juice, drain. I did it. The ricotta looked great.
The next step was to be patient. This is were I had problems. For the gnocchi you need to let the ricotta drain a lot, or it is too wet. The ricotta seemed dry enough to me so I went ahead an made the gnocchi.The "dough" looked good to me. I shaped them. They seemed a bit wet, and I began to get nervous. I had every right to be nervous. Cuz this is what I got.Yummy, huh? Actually it did taste really great as ricotta soup! I added some flour to the rest of the gnocchi mix and they firmed up and I had a couple of those. (I know the recipe said to add egg white, and if I had them, I would have, but I didn't)

The next day I decided to make some more ricotta, again, I thought it looked great. I was good, I waited. I waited 24 hrs. I opened up the cheese cloth and it was all liquid and spilled down the drain. So there is no picture because there WAS no picture.

Frustrated, I decided to turn to a good ol' friend, the Internet. I found this link. I switched to Vinegar instead of Lemon juice. And I got out the thermometer and made sure the temp was high enough. I also tried Fat free milk instead of the whole milk with added cream. It was magic. It was amazing. It drained so fast.
But just to make sure I hung it on the sink for a bit.Then I placed it in the fridge to drain some more. Then the next day I began the gnocchi.
Here they are waiting to be rolled/jiggled.I carefully picked them up
Of course, right as I was about to boil the gnocchi Hubbs called and said he was going to stay at school late and study. So I froze 'em. We had them a week or so later with some Pork Loin and asparagus. It was quite good.



Here is the recipe with the pictures provided with the recipe.

Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi

Source: From The Zuni Café Cookbook.

Yield: Makes 40 to 48 gnocchi (serves 4 to 6)

Prep time: Step 1 will take 24 hours. Steps 2 through 4 will take approximately 1 hour.

Tips:

- If you can find it, use fresh ricotta. As Judy Rodgers advises in her recipe, there is no substitute for fresh ricotta. It may be a bit more expensive, but it's worth it.
- Do not skip the draining step. Even if the fresh ricotta doesn't look very wet, it is. Draining the ricotta will help your gnocchi tremendously.
- When shaping your gnocchi, resist the urge to over handle them. It's okay if they look a bit wrinkled or if they're not perfectly smooth.
- If you're not freezing the gnocchi for later, cook them as soon as you can. If you let them sit around too long they may become a bit sticky.
- For the variations to the challenge recipe, please see the end of the recipe.

Equipment required:

- Sieve
- Cheesecloth or paper towels
- Large mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Tablespoon
- Baking dish or baking sheet
- Wax or parchment paper
- Small pot
- Large skillet
- Large pan or pot (very wide in diameter and at least 2 inches deep)

Videos that might help:

- Judy Rodgers Gnocchi Demo
- Making fresh ricotta demo
- Making ricotta gnocchi

For the gnocchi:

1 pound (454 grams/16 ounces) fresh ricotta (2 cups)
2 large cold eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
2 or 3 fresh sage leaves, or a few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg, or a few pinches of chopped lemon zest (all optional)
½ ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (about ¼ cup very lightly packed)
about ¼ teaspoon salt (a little more if using kosher salt)
all-purpose flour for forming the gnocchi

For the gnocchi sauce:

8 tablespoons (227 grams/1/4 pound/4 ounces) butter, sliced
2 teaspoons water

Step 1 (the day before you make the gnocchi): Preparing the ricotta.

If the ricotta is too wet, your gnocchi will not form properly. In her cookbook, Judy Rodgers recommends checking the ricotta’s wetness. To test the ricotta, take a teaspoon or so and place it on a paper towel. If you notice a very large ring of dampness forming around the ricotta after a minute or so, then the ricotta is too wet. To remove some of the moisture, line a sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels and place the ricotta in the sieve. Cover it and let it drain for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can wrap the ricotta carefully in cheesecloth (2 layers) and suspend it in your refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours with a bowl underneath to catch the water that’s released. Either way, it’s recommended that you do this step the day before you plan on making the gnocchi.

Step 2 (the day you plan on eating the gnocchi): Making the gnocchi dough.

To make great gnocchi, the ricotta has to be fairly smooth. Place the drained ricotta in a large bowl and mash it as best as you can with a rubber spatula or a large spoon (it’s best to use a utensil with some flexibility here). As you mash the ricotta, if you noticed that you can still see curds, then press the ricotta through a strainer to smooth it out as much as possible.

Add the lightly beaten eggs to the mashed ricotta.

Melt the tablespoon of butter. As it melts, add in the sage if you’re using it. If not, just melt the butter and add it to the ricotta mixture.

Add in any flavouring that you’re using (i.e., nutmeg, lemon zest, etc.). If you’re not using any particular flavouring, that’s fine.

Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the salt.

Beat all the ingredients together very well. You should end up with a soft and fluffy batter with no streaks (everything should be mixed in very well).

Step 3: Forming the gnocchi.

Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil. When it boils, salt the water generously and keep it at a simmer. You will use this water to test the first gnocchi that you make to ensure that it holds together and that your gnocchi batter isn’t too damp.

In a large, shallow baking dish or on a sheet pan, make a bed of all-purpose flour that’s ½ an inch deep.

With a spatula, scrape the ricotta mixture away from the sides of the bowl and form a large mass in the centre of your bowl.

Using a tablespoon, scoop up about 2 to 3 teaspoons of batter and then holding the spoon at an angle, use your finger tip to gently push the ball of dough from the spoon into the bed of flour.

At this point you can either shake the dish or pan gently to ensure that the flour covers the gnocchi or use your fingers to very gently dust the gnocchi with flour. Gently pick up the gnocchi and cradle it in your hand rolling it to form it in an oval as best as you can, at no point should you squeeze it. What you’re looking for is an oval lump of sorts that’s dusted in flour and plump.

Gently place your gnocchi in the simmering water. It will sink and then bob to the top. From the time that it bobs to the surface, you want to cook the gnocchi until it’s just firm. This could take 3 to 5 minutes.

If your gnocchi begins to fall apart, this means that the ricotta cheese was probably still too wet. You can remedy this by beating a teaspoon of egg white into your gnocchi batter. If your gnocchi batter was fluffy but the sample comes out heavy, add a teaspoon of beaten egg to the batter and beat that in. Test a second gnocchi to ensure success.

Form the rest of your gnocchi. You can put 4 to 6 gnocchi in the bed of flour at a time. But don’t overcrowd your bed of flour or you may damage your gnocchi as you coat them.

Have a sheet pan ready to rest the formed gnocchi on. Line the sheet pan with wax or parchment paper and dust it with flour.

You can cook the gnocchi right away, however, Judy Rodgers recommends storing them in the refrigerator for an hour prior to cooking to allow them to firm up.

Step 4: Cooking the gnocchi.

Have a large skillet ready to go. Place the butter and water for the sauce in the skillet and set aside.

In the largest pan or pot that you have (make sure it’s wide), bring at least 2 quarts of water to a boil (you can use as much as 3 quarts of water if your pot permits). You need a wide pot or pan so that your gnocchi won’t bump into each other and damage each other.

Once the water is boiling, salt it generously.

Drop the gnocchi into the water one by one. Once they float to the top, cook them for 3 to 5 minutes (as in the case with the test gnocchi).

When the gnocchi float to the top, you can start your sauce while you wait for them to finish cooking.

Place the skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Swirl it gently a few times as it melts. As soon as it melts and is incorporated with the water, turn off the heat. Your gnocchi should be cooked by now.

With a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the boiling water and gently drop into the butter sauce. Carefully roll in the sauce until coated. Serve immediately.

Variations: For the gnocchi, you can flavour them however you wish. If you want to experiment by adding something to your gnocchi (i.e., caramelized onion, sundried tomato), feel free to do so. However, be forewarned, ricotta gnocchi are delicate and may not take well to elaborate additions. For the sauce, this is your chance to go nuts. Enjoy yourselves. Surprise us!!!

Freezing the gnocchi: If you don’t want to cook your gnocchi right away or if you don’t want to cook all of them, you can make them and freeze them. Once they are formed and resting on the flour-dusted, lined tray, place them uncovered in the freezer. Leave them for several hours to freeze. Once frozen, place them in a plastic bag. Remove the air and seal the bag. Return to the freezer. To cook frozen gnocchi, remove them from the bag and place individually on a plate or on a tray. Place in the refrigerator to thaw completely. Cook as directed for fresh gnocchi.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What happened?

I really have a hard time being a mom sometimes. I just miss having a life. I don't know how to have a life anymore now that I have kids. I hate it. I go through this phase with every child. I just don't know who I am anymore. I am NOTHING like what Luna used be. I feel so lonely and isolated. I used to be so social. Those that knew me before kids would not believe how different my life is now.

I don't know how to change it. I used to have friends. I used to get calls. I used to have parties, dinners, gatherings. I used to organize outings. Now the only people I talk to seem to be the nursing staff at the pediatricians office and it mainly revolves around making sure shot records are up to date.

When I say I would plan parties, I don't mean something small. I remember one year my roommates and I had a Valentine's Day Party. It was so much fun. WE constructed a slide on our basement stairs to slide down to the dance floor with black lights, DJ, and Disco Ball. We heart attacked the main floor. Had funny cheese games and activities all over the place. I think we had at least 50 people there. The pile of shoes was crazy (it was winter in Michigan, sloshy wet snowy shoes had to stay by the door, which leached all the way across the kitchen!). I know there is a picture out there somewhere. How about that crazy 80's dance I did on Jan 9, 1999. ("Party like it's 1-9-99" Thank you Prince) Or all the Celebrity Balls.

I keep thinking someday I will have friends again that we do stuff with, but honestly, why will it be any different in the future. Somehow I have changed from an outgoing social butterfly to an awkward outcast. What happened? It used to be so easy for me. I am not the person Hubbs married. I don't even recognize myself. I try to use those abilities now with the kids, but things always seem to fall flat. It is like a disease. Social ineptness disease. I think it is a good thing I didn't know I would catch it before I had babies. I would have had my tubes tied!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What do you do on YOUR week off?

This last week Hubbs had the week off from school. I had a nice long list of things for us to do, with a possible trip down South as well. Well, hardly anything got done. Unfortunately Saturday night Bubba surprised us with so diarrhea. YAY! Then Sunday morning he puked all over as we were walking out the door for church. So back in the door we went. Sunday night Chris got it. Monday I got it. Tuesday SweetPea woke-up puking. Luckily it seemed to pass quickly. We ended-up using our carpet cleaner so many times. I cleaned-up almost every bodily fluid possible during the week. Finally the week was wrapping-up. But Bubba had more surprised left for us.

As I was getting ready in the morning, specifically in the shower, SweetPea announced that Buba was stinky. I sighed and told her I would take care of it in a minute. SweetPea was very insistent so I opened the shower door and saw Bubba was standing in a brown puddle. Shocked, I pulled Bubba into the shower with me and pulled his diaper off at which point a huge splash of brown liquid of NO form splashed all over both of us. After hosing us down and choking back heave after heave, I threw a towel on the problem on the bathroom floor and I began to take Bubba to his room to attempt another diaper in case the flood gates opened again. That is when I found the problem was bigger than I realized. Hubbs soon heard ALL about it. There was a 50 ft trail of diarrhea running through the house, with a HUGE lake by the front door. As cleaning-up I found Bubba's bed covered in dry puke, apparently form the night before. I had to wash the bed sheets in the kids room for the 4th time that week.

Let me just say that the house was steeped in an unpleasant scent. It was not y favorite week. At least I had help cleaning up.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I hate it when...

I am lying in bed trying to remember something and I just can't. It happened to me tonight. I was trying so hard to remember someone's named. I was trying so hard it made me laugh. Normally I would just shrug it off and fall asleep. Actually, it usually doesn't keep me up at ll. I fall asleep SOOOOO quickly, but for some reason it was bothering me tonight. I guess it should. Here is why.

Oh... It just popped into my head. Literally right this moment. I feel so much better.

But let me explain why it bothered me.

I consider my family pretty close. I talk to my mom almost daily. I talk to my dad a few times a month. I don't talk to my brother as much, but that has a lot to do with him not verbalizing to me much. I always feel the conversation is one sided. He also keeps weird hours because he works nights. My point is we don't not talk, we just don't talk a lot.

So earlier I got a phone call from my mom, not unusual. The conversation, unusual.

Mom: Your brother has something to tell you.
Brother: I got married, in February.
Luna: Oh. Congratulations. I don't know what else to say.

You see, I was a little shocked, since it is MAY. I really can't say much about the Eloping thing, since Hubbs and I eloped, but at least we told our parents the same day. We actually had a date set. booked, planned for 2 weeks later, so we used it for the reception and a nice little ring ceremony for everyone to see. Most people probably figured it was the wedding. But my brother waited MONTHS to spill the beans, and even then, apparently, my mom had to drag it out of him. Her Mom-sense said soemthing was hinky.

So whose name could I not remember? My new/old Sister-in-Law's. Which I now remember, but I don't even know how to spell it. Is it with a "u" or a "w", 1 "n" or 2. Maybe I leave out both the "u" and the "w" I have only met her once. Not a HUGE shock since I live halfway across the country from them, but that one night we had dinner at our parent's house and she wouldn't even make eye contatc with me.

The phone call ended with my brother saying they were picking out China and Crystal. WHAT!?

Thousand Word Thursday


This Picture is from May 2005. It was my first Mother's day, or I should say was taken for Mother's Day. I just can't explain how much I like this picture. It isn't a particularly good picture, but it just reminds me of that special day. Hubbs and my dad (PeePaw) made a great dinner for my mom (MeeMaw) and me. We had a really great day.
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Project 365 April 2009



Here is a video of earlier pictures